In response to the impact COVID-19 is having on independent businesses, Kneed Footwear Inc. has opened up direct-to-consumer online shopping where the proceeds go to local dealer partners. The insole company is calling the effort a “Last Resort” and the goal is to support independent run retailers.

“As is mentioned frequently, we are all in this together, and Kneed wanted to show our unwavering support of independent dealers,” explains Kneed co-founder Jonathan Koops. ““Until now Kneed has exclusively driven shoppers to their local dealers, but many dealers are either choosing to be closed for the health of their community or regulations have temporarily closed them.

“In keeping with our mission of supporting local dealers, the customer can indicate their preferred dealer to support or we find the nearest dealer to their delivery address,” he adds. “This initiative results in both the shopper and the local dealer being simultaneously supported.

Here’s how the  “Last Resort Online Shopping That Supports Local Dealers” program works:

When a person shops on they are now greeted with the message:


Before purchasing here, first review our dealer locator as what you KNEED may already be available at a store near you. Local dealers often offer delivery or curbside pickup. Shopping locally more directly supports a local business and reduces costly and more environmentally damaging single pair shipping. If you don’t have a dealer conveniently located near you, or your dealer doesn’t offer shipping, please indicate at checkout the local dealer you would like to support and we will share the proceeds with them.

Run retailers are appreciating the program and are certainly on board with Kneed’s effort to direct sales to them, especially since many are struggling with closed doors and/or reduced hours.

“I think this is a really outstanding way to open up online, and I want to say thanks so much for finding this way to support local shops right now,” says Kal Pence, owner of 847 Running Company. “This is exactly why we appreciate doing business with you.”

“Thank you for what Kneed is doing during this time,” echoes Kim Kelbe, owner of Missouri Running Company. “I wanted to let you know I sent that out to the RIA email list bragging on how we should acknowledge and support companies doing these type of things.”

“This is an uncertain economic time for our independent retail partners,” points out Koops. “While stores are closed we have first responders and an essential workforce that is on their feet all day and needs support.

“In addition, running and walking are activities that help people maintain their health while social distancing. We have an incredible web and logistics team that is available to help get supportive insoles to the people that need them.”